Salesforce isn’t slacking on productivity tools

This week Salesforce-owned Slack announced Canvas, an integrated feature that allows users to create and edit documents without leaving the application.

Slack attack: Slack is known as a workplace messenger, competing with Microsoft Teams and Skype. But the app—and Salesforce—clearly has greater goals.

  • Slack already integrates with other apps. Its workplace tools would have that same streamlined functionality, embedding content automatically into documents. And they’d be collaborative, allowing multiple users at the same time.
  • Their ease of use could be a leg up over productivity tools like Google Docs, Notion, and Microsoft Office, but that’s only if Slack can actually create a better product.
  • And while Slack may have the advantage on integration, the numbers are on Teams’ side. Slack has around 18 million daily active users to Teams’ 270 million, according to Business of Apps.

Salesforcing the competition: Slack’s productivity moves reveal why Salesforce spent $27.7 billion to acquire the company last summer.

  • Last year, our analyst Gadjo Sevilla said that “Slack’s own rich app integration capabilities can serve as a conduit” for integrating the over 3,000 apps within Salesforce’s ecosystem.
  • Now Sevilla’s looking ahead. “The addition of Canvas document editor into Slack could place it on par with Microsoft Teams and Google Docs in terms of ramping up productivity and collaboration tools.” But Sevilla warns, “It does run the risk of complicating a beloved user interface for millions of users who might perceive the new feature as bloatware.”

It’s all about ease of use and integration. Salesforce is leveraging Slack’s status as a cool, collaborative product to boost the rest of its portfolio. Adobe bought Figma last week for similar reasons. And Slack’s push for users to adopt its internal tools is reminiscent of Canva building out its product suite.

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